The Other Side of the Page: Books and Comics
All New All Different Marvel: How are those first issues?
The Mighty Thor #1
YES! This was the one title I was waiting for the most when All New All Different Marvel was announced. Jason Aaron brings his magic back with the Goddess of Thunder. Unlike the last series where Thor’s identity was shrouded in mystery, we now know it’s Dr. Jane Foster. She has cancer, and every time she wields the hammer, it kills her faster. I’ve always loved Thor, but this take on the character is probably one of the best versions in years. Russell Dauterman’s art is gorgeous the entire way through. My only gripe is the ending disregards the finale of Loki: Agent of Asgard unless they’re throwing us a red herring.
Verdict: BUY IT
Ms. Marvel #1
Ahh, yes! The other title I waited for! Ms. Marvel is a revolutionary character breaking just about every norm comics has ever had. She’s an Eisner Award nominee and a Hugo Award winner for a reason. Now she’s back and dealing with her biggest threat yet: letting her best friend and crush go. What I’ve always loved about Kamala is I can relate to her 100%. She’s a nerd. She’s always wanted to be normal but struggled with religious restraints (pretty much me in high school and college). Now she’s trying to understand her city changing as the mom and pop stores are being pushed out by big business. I went from growing up in farm lands to suburbia exploding around me in my town. I get her. Ms. Marvel has something for everyone. Kamala is one of the most relatable characters around that will trigger some memory in your lifetime.
The New Avengers #1
I want to like this title. It has four of my favorite characters in it (Hawkeye, Wiccan, Hulkling, and Squirel Girl). It has Reed Richards, who I LOATH, as a villain. Too bad it’s pretty mediocre. The art looks like a rejected Final Fantasy game. I grew up on anime, but this style is waaaay too anime even for me. It’s a shame, because Gerardo Sandoval is better than that. Al Ewing fails me again in the writing (Dude, go back to writing Loki). Squirrel Girl’s character is completely off especially after reading the New York Times’ bestseller The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Marvel characters know that Doreen is serious powerhouse and unbeatable, but here she’s treated like a joke. Wiccan’s super emo. Everyone else is incredibly flat. Dugan and Clint meeting Sunspot is the only breath of fresh air. I’m so upset by this. This was the worst book out of all the new first issues.
Verdict: I hate to say it but PASS. Pass it so hard.
Sam Alexander has his father back, and now they’re team Nova. There’s plenty of fluffy daddy-son moments in this issue. Too bad those are disrupted by the surprise ending. This comic isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s enjoyable. If you’re looking for a chill, feel good comic, this is the one for you.
Another problem with Secret Wars not being over is that several series got their second first issue in one year. Spider-Gwen suffers heavily from this. If you haven’t read the previous series, you’re walking into the middle of a story already set into motion. This isn’t a good jumping point for a new reader. I tried reading the first run, but it was incredibly boring. I hoped this would be a great place to try again. Instead, I was lost from the first page. If it wasn’t for my co-worker who had explained the situation, I wouldn’t have been able to follow as well as I did.
Verdict: Pass unless you were reading the previous series
The last run with Jessica Drew had trouble getting off the ground for me. It started right smack in the middle of the Spider-Verse leaving me uninterested in finishing the story. Honestly, I picked up the new Spider-Woman only because I wanted to know who knocked her up. I’m glad I read it! It’s amazing. This comic is breaking paradigms. We so rarely see pregnant superheroes. Here’s a woman used to being in charge and punching bad guys in the face. Now, she’s bored two days on maternity leave while danger rolls on around her. Jessica is a shining example that women can be strong fighters AND mothers. Don’t miss this one.
Star Lord #1
I didn’t realize this was going to be a Peter Quill origin story. Honestly, I was looking forward to why he wasn’t with the Guardians of the Galaxy or with Kitty Pryde, his fiance. Still, this is a fun and straightforward read. It’s nothing new but still really enjoyable. I wouldn’t rush to read it though. You can wait on this one if there’s other Marvel titles you’re eyeing.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
THIS is what Spider-Gwen should have been by starting with a fresh jumping in point. THIS is what Squirrel Girl in New Avengers should have been! Doreen is back eating nuts and kicking butts! She’s fun! She’s energetic! She’s breaking social norms loving her full booty and teaching you the proper use of the word “badonk” at fancy parties! Seriously though, this is easily one of the best comics Marvel has on the market. There’s a reason it’s a New York Times bestseller. It’s hilarious and heartfelt. There’s tiny text at the bottom of each page adding commentary. This is a comic you come home to at the end of a long day to read for sheer enjoyment. It’s a laugh, and you’re going to love it.
Verdict: Oh my gosh, why don’t you have this yet? Buy! BUY! BUY IT NOW!
The Ultimates #1
Huh. I don’t know what to make of this title. If you want an incredibly scientific explanation of the end of Secret Wars, here you go. I’m not quite sure what they’re trying to set up. They honestly talked a ton a science without much plot. It looks like they’re trying to explain the Secret Wars event and why people can’t remember it… I think? Anyway, I might read a few more issues. I love Ms. America, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther. It’s just really cluttered in a small amount of space.
Verdict: Read if you like the characters. Pass if you don’t care.
The Uncanny Avengers #1
Steve Rogers has formed a team of super humans, mutants, and inhumans to make the Unity Squad. Too bad they don’t get along, and everyone distrusts Deadpool. With team members already quitting, it’s not going to be easy. This is a great setup issue for what appears to be a strong new series. It’s just a bit pricey when I’m not too invested in any of the characters. It’s not even close to how good All-New All-Different Avengers was. Though, it’s not as terrible as New Avengers.
Verdict: Buy if you like it, but I advise you to wait for the trade since $5.99 is ridiculous for a comic.
The Uncanny Inhumans #1
If you’re looking for a great introduction to inhumans, this is the book for you. It lays out a nice concise history in about a page of everything you need to know. As a returning fan, I think this will have something for you as well. It sets up a coming fight with Kang the Conqueror, a love triangle, and a militarized journey seeking out missing inhumans. All in one book! The writing is a touch stilted though. Everyone had their name said two or three times to really make sure you know who’s who. This is one of the better introductions that’s great for new and old readers alike.
The Vision #1
You guys are lucky I love you, because I have an awful phobia of artificial intelligence. I knew I wouldn’t like The Vision from that reason alone. I cringed through most of it scared out of my wits. My fears aside, this is a stellar book. The story and characters are unique and unlike anything else I mentioned above. This is a book about everything that goes wrong with A.I. We know Vision is a superhero, but what about his wife? His kids? Are they supposed to follow in his footsteps or make their own twisted and dark path? I know I’m not going to read the rest of the series, but you should. Its great!
Verdict: Buy unless you have an A.I. fear like I do
Web Warriors #1
This was just okay. If you were a fan of the Spider-Verse, then you’ll probably like this title. I’ve never been a big Spider-Man fan in general so it was underwhelming. I do like Spider-Man Noir on the team, but that’s about it. I think Gwen Stacy is pretty overrated and half the story follows her. Spider-Ham fails trying to be a character like Rocket Raccoon. Honestly, the only part I really enjoyed was the steampunk Spider Lady mini-story at the end. The writing is dry. Mixing art styles depending on the world they’re in was a brilliant idea with some memes thrown in there. Overall though, this was a snooze fest for me.
All New Wolverine #1
Despite the Orphan Black feel from this, I really enjoyed it. The nicest moment was Laura recalling a conversation with Logan. I hope there’s more scenes like that in future issues especially with Logan not in the universe anymore other than Old Man Logan. Laura seems to have succeeded where Titania failed in The Illuminati. She’s able to make a hero of herself while learning from her violent past. There’s some nice quiet moments in between all the fighting and chaos. Great start to what looks like an awesome series.
Do you agree with my reviews? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think of Marvel’s reboot!